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Title: Making sociology public : a critical analysis of an old idea and a recent debate
Author: Fatsis, Lambros
ISNI:       0000 0004 5363 2685
Awarding Body: University of Sussex
Current Institution: University of Sussex
Date of Award: 2014
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The current thesis attempts to discuss, critique, and repair the idea of public sociology as a public discourse and a professional practice. Emerging in the writings of C W. Mills and Alvin Gouldner in the late 1950s and 1970s, “public sociology” was given its name in 1988 by Herbert J. Gans, before it was popularised by Michael Burawoy in 2004, reflecting a recurring desire to debate the discipline's public relevance, responsibility and accountability to its publics: academic and extra-academic alike. Resisting a trend in the relevant literature to treat the term as new, it is argued that the notion of making sociology “public” is as old as the discipline itself, suggesting that the recent public sociology debate does not describe a modern predicament, but an enduring characteristic of sociology's epistemic identity. A detailed critical review of recent controversies on public sociology is offered as a compass with which to navigate the terms and conditions of the term, as it has been espoused, critiqued and re-modelled to fit divergent aspirations about sociology's identity, status and function in academia and the public sphere. An invitation to understand the discipline beyond a language of crisis concludes the thesis, offering eleven counter-theses to M. Burawoy's approach that seek to reconstruct sociology's self-perception, while also suggesting ways of making it public in the context of intellectual life at the 21st century.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: HM0435 History of sociology. History of sociological theory